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Bay St. George fishers ready for crab and lobster fishery

With lobster pots on the ready at the right, Renny Hickey, a fish harvester out of Stephenville, poses for a photo on his long-liner as he awaits the crab and lobster seasons to open.
With lobster pots on the ready at the right, Renny Hickey, a fish harvester out of Stephenville, poses for a photo on his long-liner as he awaits the crab and lobster seasons to open. - Frank Gale
STEPHENVILLE, N.L. —

With water being pumped over his frozen seine on his long-liner, Renny Hickey said on Thursday of last week he’s just itching to get out and fish.

While the lobster season in 13a (St. George’s Bay) and 13b (Cape St. George to Bay of Islands) have both been delayed to tentatively open on Apr. 28 from the original Apr. 18 planned opening, he’s taking it in stride.

A decision on the delayed opening of the crab season was expected to be announced Tuesday.

It’s all because of the unusual amount of ice along the Western Newfoundland coast this year.

Hickey was happy to see some easterly wind last week broke up the ice that was packed into Bay St. George but noted that a southwesterly wind could blow it back into the bay.

“We (fishers) want to be sure the ice is gone out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence before we set our traps,” he said.

He said the lobster season was delayed a little bit last year but the ice conditions for this coast are extreme this year.

Hickey said the time lost in starting the season will be made up at the other end, so lobster fishing will likely extend into July this year.

He said for fish harvesters, the silver lining is the weather will be a little warmer when they start.

Hickey is one of about 15 harvesters who fish out of Little Port Harmon in Stephenville.

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